By Sara Vedvei, MS, LMFT | Counselor | The Village Family Service Center
The holidays can hold different meanings for different people. For many, it is a season of thankfulness and a time to count our blessings. But why does it seem that the wish lists our children present us with grow longer each day? During a season when we want our children to be grateful for what they have, we are left wondering why it never seems like enough.
There are many things we can do to instill gratefulness in our children. In the short term, doing so will help you feel like you’re not breaking the holiday budget to appease them with the latest toy or technology. In the long term, it will help your child be able to deal with stress more effectively, practice more kindness toward themselves and others, and have a more positive outlook on life.
Here are 8 ways to instill gratitude in your children this holiday season:
- Encourage generosity
- Manage gift expectations
- Give your child the gift of an experience rather than a materialistic item
- Focus on the “reason for the season” (however that aligns with you and your family’s values)
- Find charitable events or projects in which your child can participate
- Involve your child in selecting and wrapping gifts for others
- Write thank you notes
- Model gratitude
Sara Vedvei is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in The Village's Moorhead office. She provides outpatient therapy in the office and area schools, and has worked with individuals, couples, and families across the lifespan. She earned a master's degree in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Couple and Family Therapy from NDSU. To schedule a counseling session with Sara, call 701-451-4811 or request an appointment online.